MetroHealth’s Funds are looking good

Expanded accessibility, high patient volumes and New centers helped propel MetroHealth’s 2017 financing to degrees that were unprecedented.

At 2017, MetroHealth reached an operating income of $42 million about $1.1 billion in operating earnings, posting a 3.7% operating margin, according to the preliminary numbers. The unaudited figures show the health system’s operating income for 2017 showed a 381% growth from the prior year.

MetroHealth’s chief fiscal officer Craig Richmond stated he does not expect to see much of a change in the audited numbers.

“The revenue increase is blamed mostly, I would say, to higher patient volumes out of our newest sites … and then enlarged access to our services within the community,” Richmond explained.

Richmond highlights the system’s operating income before depreciation, interest and amortization. That number was $96 million in 2017, up 58 percent from the prior year.

Last year was the first full year of MetroHealth’s operations of the centers that are HealthSpan it integrated into the system in early 2016. The centers from Bedford Parma, Cleveland Heights and Rocky River are blamed, in part.

Outpatient visits were up 4 percent between 2016 and 2017; emergency room visits rose 13% in that time, supported by three centers; and inpatient surgical volumes increased 3%, supported by two operation centers that are new.

“Hospital discharges were really lower over the prior year, plus they were lower by nearly 7 percent,” Richmond explained. “That did not come as a surprise for us … it is a direct result of our focus on the public health plan.”

Overall, revenues for 2017 rose by 8% while costs increased by just 5%, leading to the higher income from operations.

Last year, investors responded favorably to MetroHealth’s $945.7 million bond issuance to finance the health system’s massive makeover of its main campus, which will incorporate the construction of a new 12-story, 270-bed hospital.

“What we’ve been clearly doing is listening to our patients and our customers and delivering what they’re requesting closer to home,” Richmond explained.